Coast Guard Commanding Officer Moves Off Island

Jeff Westling. Kayla Desroches / KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Commanding Officer at U.S. Coast Guard Base Kodiak moved off island Thursday. Jeff Westling took over command in 2014 and had been in charge of mission support for all Alaska operations since then.

He says his daily work schedule involved a lot of meetings.

“When you run a large installation, you might as well say it’s a small city. So, when we are dealing with the aging infrastructure that is typical on a lot of Coast Guard and military bases around the country, we are constantly prioritizing what projects we’re gonna be working on as well as routine maintenance.”

He says they’d cover topics like housing, training requirements, and medical care for members of the Coast Guard, and he’d also meet with operational commanders to make sure they had all the information and resources they needed to complete their missions.

He says a lot of what he achieved on the island related to infrastructure.

“We’ve done a lot of major upgrades to our water distribution system. In a lot of the old, aging infrastructure, there were some of our old houses that were built in World War II that had elements of lead solder in the pipes in those structures, and we completely replaced all of that so that the system is essentially lead free.”

He says the Coast Guard is also preparing to welcome additional coast guardsmen to the island with the introduction of upgraded C-130s.

“And so extra people here to Kodiak requires additional housing and medical support and all that, and so we spent a lot of time documenting that need, and so I’m extremely proud of the fact that we have gone on record identifying those requirements into the future to better support Coast Guard people here in Kodiak.”

Westling says coming to Kodiak had been his goal for many years.

“As an engineer for my primary specialty there’s limited opportunities to come here to Kodiak, and so every opportunity that I had I had a tendency to ask to come into facilities management here in Kodiak, was never given that opportunity, and at my 23-year mark, I received the orders and reported.”

Westling says he’s headed next to Coast Guard headquarters in Virginia, where he’ll serve as the resources director.

Captain Jeff Good relieves him as commanding officer.

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